THE unabated incidents of road accidents and its consequences in Nigeria are alarming and need to be fixed by all stakeholders in the transport sector.
A recent report released by the National Bureau of Statistic, NBS, in Abuja, was frightening, showing need for urgent action without delay on curbing the menace
ACCORDING to the report, 28,195 people were killed in road accidents in 68 months, showing that two person die every four hours. Traffic accidents from January 2013 to June 2018 are as follows: 2013, 5,538; 2014, 4, 430; 2015, 5,400; 2016, 5,053; 2017, 5,538 and June 2018, 2,623.
IT also revealed that 1,946 adults and 491 children got injured. It added that 6,415 male Nigerians representing 96 percent got injured in road crashes in the second quarter, while 2,022 female Nigerians representing 24 percent got injured.
THE statistics have shown that road accidents claim more lives than major diseases in the country. It is thus worrisome and frightening that our roads have been turned into blood-sucking demons due to their deplorable state.
THE deaths are worrisome and they show the level and importance we attach to lives in the country. Lives of human beings are important, and sacred, but the wastage is becoming so alarming .
SIGNIFICANTLY, the figures for deaths and injuries to accidents are viewed as less than accurate. They might be higher, as there are no accurate data or statistics to back up claims.
FROM the North to South, West and East, roads are impassable, and thus , thus traveling has become a nightmare.
ALSO, some road users have formed the habit of over-speeding each time they are on the road. Some believe in their ability to maneuver any difficult situation on the road, while others believe in their vehicles’ ability to wriggle out of any danger. But these perceptions are not always correct. According to the FRSC, 50% of road crashes in Nigeria are due to over speeding.
THE failure of successive governments to fix the death traps called roads in Nigeria has no doubt caused so much pain to road users. The bad roads across the nation are nothing to write home about. Governments at all levels must be alive to their responsibilities to make sure all roads in Nigeria are safe and motorable. Road users should also exercise caution when driving in danger spots like pothole-ridden portions, dangerous bends, roads threatened by erosion, roads enveloped with darkness at nights e.t.c
OVER loading is another causative factor. This offence is mostly committed by commercial vehicles and some haulage companies. Some private road users are also known to over load their vehicles.
MANY road accidents are due to unfavourable weather conditions, either ignored by the driver or unknown to him/her. It is important for road users to check the weather conditions of their routes through the Nigerian Meteorological Agency to be sure that their intended routes and destination are weather-friendly. Driving in unfriendly weather conditions can hamper smooth driving and cause damage.
MOST of the vehicles are not in proper shape before they are put on the road. We suggest that road users must ensure that their vehicles are in good condition before they hit the road. This way, road crashes caused by badly managed vehicles can be avoided to the barest minimum.
BAD driving habits of drivers also contributes to the problem. It is important for road users to respect other road users by ensuring their driving is not only for their own safety, but for others. Adhering to all traffic rules and regulations is also very important for safe driving. Indeed, road users’ behaviour has to change dramatically. Ignorance, lack of information and neglect of road safety in Nigeria have now made many preventable road carnages appear normal.
WE therefore call on the federal government to as matter of urgency pay more attention to the deplorable condition of roads in the country. We believe that it needs to vote more money to road construction.
WE aren’t unmindful of federal government’s efforts at rehabilitating Lagos/Ibadan and Benin/Ore/Lagos roads, but we believe that it needs to put more effort. We suggest that it should beam its light on the rehabilitation of Akure/Ado/ Owo/Ikare/Isua roads. There is no doubt, the roads are travelers’ nightmares. The Owo/Ikare road is one of busiest roads in the country, connecting the South West to the Northern part of the country .
WE also suggest that in the alternative, the federal government can encourage state governments rehabilitate them and later be reimbursed.
THE HOPE commends the state government on its efforts to safe lives in the state by rehabilitating Abusoro, Oke Alabojuto roads among others. We are also aware that work is going on Gaga road, also in Akure. It is however not yet Uhuru. Ondo State people still yearn for more.
WE call officers of the Federal Road Safety Commission, FRSC, to work towards making Nigeria roads safe and not concentrate on making money for the commission by looking for road offenders . We believe that their primary duty is making roads safe. Unfortunately, we observe that the commission has abdicated its role. It is high time for the commission to return to its first love and lay siege on the major highways to help in reducing carnage on our roads.